Savills Ireland: Engaging our staff for maximum community and workplace benefit

Business in the Community Ireland

Company Description

Savills Ireland is an all-Ireland real estate advisory firm providing commercial, residential, investment and property management services.

 

Business Issue

To increase employee engagement through community and workplace activities

 

Solution Applied

Savills partners with the Solas Project, giving employees a variety of opportunities to use their skills and talents to help young people overcome limitations imposed on them by social and educational disadvantage.  Solas’ vision is to see communities rejuvenated through education and sport.  Savills has a young and active workforce, so the volunteer opportunities are particularly suitable to engage employees.

Specifically, Savills employees have coached and managed 150 8-10 year olds in a Rugby tournament;   assisted with three educational support programmes; participated in the Pulse Triathlon; fundraised by supporting  the Solas Project ‘24 hour Buskathon’ collecting donations and selling Christmas cards.  Overall

Savills employees have raised in excess of €11,000 towards purchasing a minibus for Solas and are committed to fundraising the full cost.

 

Company Benefits

Employees from every level of the organization have been involved in a range of activities requiring a greater or lesser degree of commitment. This has had a very positive impact on everyone who participated, with benefits for morale overall.

 

According to Niall Curley, Associate, Savills Property Management Department, “Working in the Property Management Department, I am conscious that our managed shopping centres sit in the heart of most communities.  Working with Solas gave me the opportunity to engage with some of the school children who are or will be customers of our Centres.  Particularly good to see was the difference the programme made with the children over its duration.  I would recommend the experience to other staff within our Company that haven’t yet been involved.  From a personal point of view, I have a son who is learning to read and I got great satisfaction from helping others to do this as well.”

 

Stakeholder Benefits

The volunteers from Savills who help with the after school programme, reading support programme and the annual primary school tag-rugby blitz have helped Solas tackle the serious issues of early school leaving and youth crime in Dublin’s City Centre.  The new minibus has been vital to the success of the programmes.

 

According to Graham Jones, Solas, “Each volunteer has been so willing and enthusiastic and has had a real impact on the children that we work with.”

 

Challenges

Finding the right community organisation to partner with – Savills wanted a partnership to achieve high level company commitment and high staff engagement.

Involvement began when the Savills Board nominated a Board Director to champion the CSR agenda through the establishment of a CSR Steering Committee comprising a diverse mix of staff.  The first step was to meet potential charity partners before reaching a decision on which cause most suited the Savills business.  Once selected, the Steering Committee presented the selected projects to Savills employees, requesting suggestions on how a difference could be made.  From there, the project teams were formed and the action commenced.

 

Tip

Having several project streams to choose from has been a very positive aspect of our involvement with Solas.  Each stream requires a different level of engagement, commitment and skill-set from Savills volunteers and this flexibility is key for encouraging wider participation from the workforce as employees can opt for the one that best suits their personal circumstances.

 

Department Involved

Human Resources.  Contact Jason Denman, Head of Human Resources, Jason.Denman@savills.ie

 

Year

2012